Nude Descending a Staircase, No. The work is widely regarded as a Modernist classic and has become one of the most famous of its time. The discernible "body parts" of the figure are composed of nested, conical and cylindrical abstract elements, assembled together in such a way as to suggest rhythm and convey the movement of the figure merging into itself. Dark outlines limit the contours of the body while serving as motion lines that emphasize the dynamics of the moving figure, while the accented arcs of the dotted lines seem to suggest a thrusting pelvic motion. The movement seems to be rotated counterclockwise from the upper left to the lower right corner, where the gradient of the apparently frozen sequence corresponding to the bottom right to top left dark, respectively, becomes more transparent , the fading of which is apparently intended to simulate the "older" section. At the edges of the picture, the steps are indicated in darker colors.
Marcel Duchamp, Nude Descending a Staircase, No 2 (article) | Khan Academy
Log in or sign up to add this lesson to a Custom Course. Log in or Sign up. If you walked into a museum and saw a urinal hanging on a gallery wall, would you think of it as art? What about a bicycle wheel on top of a stool?
Duchamp's Cubism: Nude Descending a Staircase & Portrait of Chess Players
Marcel Duchamp. Nude Descending a Staircase, No. Oil on canvas, x Philadelphia Museum of Art.
Duchamp's Nude Descending a Staircase No. The painting was perceived by the majority of art critics to be utterly unintelligible, and it soon became the butt of jokes, jingles, and caricatures. The American Art News offered a ten dollar reward to the first reader who could "find the lady" 1 within the jumble of interlocking planes and jagged lines, and newspaper cartoonists had a field day with the painting, lampooning it with such titles as "The Rude Descending the Staircase Rush Hour at the Subway " and the memorable "Explosion in a Shingle Factory. Duchamp reduced the descending nude to a series of some twenty different static positions whose fractured volumes and linear panels fill almost the entire canvas. The faceted disintegration of the mechanized figure and the monochromatic tonality are typical of Cubist painting of the time.